Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Two for Tuesday: Roped Into Love

This piece was for the Convergence contest a couple years ago. A jewelry designer was supposed to team up with a lampwork artist to create an earth, fire, water, and air themed piece of art. The International Society of Glass Beadmakers (ISGB) was in charge of the project. They grouped people in sets of two and gave each the other's contact information.

I think we had about six months to finish the project. I know for a fact that all I did for the first five of those months was doodle during political science. I had contacted my partner and we had discussed ideas. She never did make anything for me to work with, so I told her no hard feelings and that I was going to find someone else who was still available.

I then contacted Terry Hale, the lady in charge. My mom had recently been Terry's neighbor at a craft show in the Southeast somewhere and said she was personable, friendly, and a good friend of Susan Parry, a good friend of ours from the show circuit. I told Terry the problems I was having with my partner and that if Susan was a part of the group, I would love to work with her instead.

The next day, Susan emailed me and we started tossing around ideas. We decided on hearts and she got all excited in her usual manner. In two weeks flat I received about a dozen or more hearts and hollow vessels to choose from for the lariat necklace I had decided to make. I chose 4, purchased 2 for myself (which I still haven't used yet :-( ), and mailed the rest back to her for inventory. We even determined a price level in case the piece sold. A week and a half after that (and a few days before the deadline), I finished the necklace:
Photo collage made with
Photo from

I was pretty proud of myself *insert smug look here* for having found a partner and creating a finished piece in less than a sixth of the time allotted for the contest. I don't usually stress too much if I haven't finished something for a contest in time, but I just knew I wanted to work with Susan again and had to make it happen. Anyway, after all the sketching, planning, stress, joy, netting, right-angle-weave, and braiding, we weren't selected as a finalist. The results came back as "undermuted." What does that even mean? *shrug* That means you just enter it in the 2010 Fire Mountain Gems Glass Contest, which is exactly what I did (with Susan's permission of course). You can see our design in better detail here.

This is the only photo that exists of the necklace because my laptop had a case of the 'I don't wanna' last summer. Sad day and a lot of missing reference pictures. However, go to the FMG website and zoom in to see really, really good closeups of Susan's beads. <3

The lariat is also no longer in existence. I kept it until late last year or early this year. It didn't sell and Susan needed the hearts for inventory, so I took it apart and sent those back to her. This was a fun project and I will be recycling the beaded ropes and tassels back into something new! It would be a pity to let all those turquoise heishis and garnet chips go to waste.

And isn't that mermaid bead just gorgeous?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Two for Tuesday: Flame Ring

Ever since I was nine, I've been making squiggly doodles on scrap paper. I've drawn on lined and unlined paper, in the margins of school notes, on napkins, on my jeans, on myself, on other people, and now in sketch books. 

This ring was made in 2008. Again, this was my first metals class. The assignment was to bezel a cabochon. I think this one is white howlite. I could be totally wrong. Of course, instead of a tiny pendant, I wanted to make something more fun. Here is the result:

Photo collage made with

It looks like fire! *Totally not the intent, but hey, it works.* I sold the ring earlier this year to the wife of a furniture maker who was set up across from me in Kerrville, TX.

On a side note: I seem to have misplaced the bracelet I planned on giving away for my 150 Facebook likes celebration. I will choose another piece instead, and it will be just as fabulous. The last couple of weeks have been quite hectic and my jewelry likes to run away on occasion (usually in someone's pocket). However, I'm pretty sure I just lost this one. The couch probably ate it. ;-)

And the best news: Today is the day I pay off my car!!!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Two for Tuesday: Chain of Memories

Good morning Tuesday! Today I have another piece that I started in 2008. This was actually my very first practice piece when I first took metals. It was a piercing and riveting assignment. I decided on a heart with some squiggles and spiky things. Why not? It's challenging, right? Yup. The scrap metal I found for the heart is steel. (My poor saw blades. *sigh*) And the other bits are aluminum.

Until last year, I let the piece sit around and mope until I found something to do with it. I eventually found the Soft Flex: Flex Your Creativity contest where they wanted designers to use their beading wire, but to have it exposed instead of hidden. This was my entry. You might want a picture before I continue:

Photo collage made with

I used one of their trios sets, which is what my local Hobby Lobby carries, to create a mass of squiggles and pearls all over what is now the front of the heart. I also used the beading wire to make a braided cord for one half of the neck strap.

By now, most of my followers may know that I absolutely love working with found objects. I get it from my mom. For this piece, I glued a stud that came off a pair of pants to a filigree square, and then glued both of them to a washer, which was then glued to the heart. Okay, I rarely use that much glue, but sometimes E6000 is the only solution when nothing else works or you're in a hurry, which I probably was to make the September 1st deadline.

I also brick stitched around parts of a dog chain I found at Wal-Mart. I have no idea what possessed me to buy the dog chain, but it has come in handy a few times. This piece came out wonderfully like the initial sketch, and then I added to it when an opportunity presented itself. One of my friends named it Chain of Memories because he said it reminded him of Kingdom Heats (which he was playing at the time of the conversation).

A little bit on the chaotic side, Chain of Memories ended up being a successful piece. This goes to show that you should always hold on to your first attempts at something. It might be useful later.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Putting a Face to a Name

All too often I forget what the artist of some of my favorite pieces actually looks like. I can almost instantaneously put a name to a piece with that certain style. However, if I saw any of these people on the street with no label indicating who they are, I wouldn't be able to call them by name or say "Oh! That's so-and-so."

To remedy this problem for my followers, here is a picture of me:

Glasses, pimple, and fever blister included. (Three weeks into a new semester, plus taking my job back. *sigh*)

My logo for all of my online profiles is the same for consistency. Most of my online friends don't know what I actually look like unless they are friends of mine on my personal Facebook page.

I did have a picture of me for my first blog post, but I was 19 when it was taken. This is of me today taken by my computer's camera. I just turned 23 on Monday! I cut most of my hair off this past summer and now have a puff of a pony tail. :-)

I don't know about you, but I'm often surprised to find out what some of my favorite artists and authors look like. What do you think?

And now for a picture of something pretty: (besides myself)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fan Page Giveaway!

After much deliberating, I have decided to give away a piece of jewelry for my 150 Facebook fan page celebration. I am at 144 likes right now.


1. You must "Like" my Vanishing Pearl Facebook page.

2. Please leave a comment on this blog post.

3. (Optional for those of you who don't use Facebook): tell your friends and spread the word!

Only those who have liked my page and left a comment will be eligible to win THIS!

A memory wire bracelet with Botswana Agate, a vintage glass button, E beads, bugle beads, and swivel hooks! (Wait, swivel hooks? Kinda odd to use fishing equipment in a bracelet, huh? Not at all!) One size fits all.

This is honestly the first bracelet image I came across that I know for sure hasn't sold yet. I will host more giveaways at each 50 like mark, or spontaneously. So check back often and always tell your friends.

Please leave an email in your comment so I can contact you if you win. :-) Good luck!


Okay, so I happened to misplace/lose/hide the bracelet pictured above. Never fear! I promised a bracelet to the winner, and you will get one. So here goes:

 I made this tulip cuff in my sophomore or junior year of high school. To the best of my knowledge, it's the only peyote cuff I've made with E-beads. It measures 8 3/4 inches. I used picot edging along the sides, a button and loop at each end, tiny herringbone tulips from Diane Fitzgerald's The Beaded Garden, and three lampworked disks by Sherry Nickell of elektraArt.

I have reached 150 Facebook likes now. Good luck to the randomly selected winner! Tell your friends and I'll have the winner posted tomorrow. :-)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Two for Tuesday: Asymmetry

This necklace was a complete surprise to me. I received a text from JD with a message saying, "You have me drawing jewelry designs at work. :-/" And this was the sketch:
After deciding that this design was too fabulous to pass up, I promptly began making the piece with materials I had on hand. I eventually ended up giving it to JD's mom as a Christmas present. Here's the two of them together with Linda wearing the necklace:

I don't have a better view of the necklace itself, but I think it's nice to see a happy recipient of my work on occasion. This was my first piece of beadwork created from the sketch of another person. Thanks JD. <3

Sorry that I got to this update a little late, but I'm proud of having kept to my self imposed deadline thus far. Stay tuned for next week's sketch vs. finished piece.

By the way, once my Facebook Vanishing Pearl page receives 150 likes, I'm going to announce a giveaway of one of my pieces! Tell your friends and I'll be back with a photo of the piece that will soon make its way to a new home.